The Toronto Blue Jays have made some great moves this offseason to bolster their young and exciting team. There are not many holes in this roster, both offensively and on the mound. However, they could always use an upgrade at first base.
Enter Michael Morse.
Morse burst onto the scene in 2011 hitting 31 HR with 95 RBI and a .303 average. He has had quite the interesting MLB career to date, most of which has been derailed by injury.
Being drafted in 2000, he had less than a full years’ worth of MLB experience from 2000-2009, playing only 35 games from 2006-2008. He only played in 102 games in 2012, hitting 18 HR and 62 RBI. One rub against Morse is his awful K/BB ratio (07/16 last season).
Since 2009, however, he has played admirably for the Nationals, never hitting below .289. With a career SLG just under .500, Morse could make a great addition to the Blue Jays at 1B.
With the Denard Span trade that became official on Thursday, there could be many personnel moves for the Nationals. Bryce Harper will now move to left field with Werth manning right field (where Morse predominantly played in 2012). Morse could then be moved to 1B (surprisingly enough he even played SS in his earlier years in Seattle) for the vacated Adam LaRoche.
LaRoche could always re-sign, leaving Morse as the odd man out. As stated by Sports Illustrated, “either Morse or LaRoche is seemingly on the way out”. Morse is under contract for a very affordable $6.5 million in 2013. SI also notes that Morse could become a “trade chip.”
As of right now, the Blue Jays first basemen consist of Adam Lind and David Cooper. Travis D’Arnaud could also potentially play at 1B, but it is pretty evident that unless Lind channels his 2009 self, the Jays could use an improvement at the position. Lind's WAR from 2010-2012 has been: -1.3,-0.2,0.0 respectively. Those numbers will not cut it on a playoff team.
The key rub here is definitely the Span trade, as it alters the whole paradigm of the Nats' strategy and lineup card. Since Morse is only under contract for one year, perhaps he could be had for a reliever or an average young arm.
What are your thoughts?
UPDATE: Tweet from Jim Bowden (@jimbowdenESPNxm) at the Winter Meetings: "With Span and Haren in pocket....Nats can now focus on closing the LaRoche deal and trading Morse for bullpen help"
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